Day One is exciting. Regardless of what it is, feelings run riot on that first day of anything – curiosity, nervousness, enthusiasm, hope, determination. It could be a new project you’re starting, a new position within the company, a new relationship – even a new phone. On Day One, you are likely to be a lot more excited about things than on Day Two… or Day 300. Day One is great – it’s exhilarating! We love Day One!

The thing is, there is only one Day One of anything, and only one Day One in your business cycle. It could be the first day that you launch a new product and the whole team involved is excited to bring it to market. It could be the first day after a training exercise or team building experience, when your operation feels more motivated and connected. Or it could be the first day you open a new branch, and everyone is excited to welcome your customers into it.

But what about Day Two?

Let’s think about your client for a moment. While it’s true that they’re probably going to enjoy all the energy hurtling into your business on Day One, the truth is that they don’t need you any less on Day Two. Similarly, as a business leader, your team doesn’t need you any less on Day Two either.

But there are a lot more Day Twos than there are Day Ones. And, over time, it’s easy to stop seeing things through fresh, new eyes and to start to cut corners, turn a blind eye, and even make excuses for why things go wrong. This isn’t ideal – and it certainly isn’t going to give you the results you got on Day One. It may even mean that your business gets less popular over time, with bad reviews and dwindling profit margins. Not good.  

Symptoms of a Day Two mindset – does your business have one?

If you’re now wondering whether things have become a bit Day Two for your business, I’ll list some red flags you may want to become aware of:

  • Slipping standards. If you know your team did something a certain way at the start but doesn’t now, this could be a symptom.
  • Regular excuses. Is there always a reason why something went wrong? We don’t make excuses on Day One, but we do on Day Two.
  • Negative mindsets. If your team is complaining about the status quo, then they may have entered a negative mindset, and there’s nothing Day One about that.
  • Client fatigue. Are you and your team more bothered by your clients than excited to help them? That’s a red flag.
  • Increased bad reviews. Did you have more happy clients last year than this year? Something’s changed and you need to figure out what it is.
  • Reduced income. If all of the above comes to pass, then lower income won’t be far off either. Once Day Two mindset becomes the norm, it will be very difficult to maintain the income levels that came with the excitement, enthusiasm and high standards you brought to the business at the start.

If any of the above sound like you, your team, or your company as a whole, then you may well be chugging towards the Day Two downward spiral. And that’s alarming, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be fatal; it’s very possible to make some critical changes, turn things around and renew that sense of excitement that prevailed at the start.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Mystery shopping. As soon as possible, enlist the help of a mystery shopping team to bring an outside eye to your operation. It will quickly bring you up to speed on the areas of your business that need the most attention.
  • Communication evaluation. Does your team really understand why your business exists? Do they understand the role they play? And is your operations team and marketing team in constant, effective communication? Evaluate all of these to get clear on whether your internal messaging is working, and whether it’s aligned with your external communication. If not, there’s a gap there that could cause issues.
  • Mindset shift. Negativity and complaining have no place in business.If you or your team are feeling negative about the business, your clients will feel it. Assessing your team’s mindset framework will shed light on what’s bringing things down, and help you prioritise how to shift it.
  • Banish excuses. If you make excuses for things going wrong in your business, then you’re part of the problem. You may actually be the problem. Get into the habit of acknowledging when something goes wrong, and get ready to have a (potentially difficult) conversation about how to stop it happening again.
  • Training matters. One of the best ways to level-up your business is to level-up your team. So, if it’s been a while since you refocused your team’s skills, coached their careers, or invested in team building, this will be holding your business back. Good training doesn’t need to cost the earth and can – locally – be subsidised, which means it’s an investment you should definitely make – and fast. 

Worried a Day Two mindset is damaging your business? The Finesse Group has been designed to bring an outside eye to everything from your PR and marketing to your customer care, and can help kickstart a new phase in your business today. To find out more, email Jo directly on [email protected]

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